....The president keeps promoting an “adult conversation” about the budget, but THAT CAN’T HAPPEN IF THE FIRST ADULT DOESN’T PLAY HIS PART. Obama is eager to be all things to all people. HE’S AGAINST THE DEBT AND ITS ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES, BUT HE’S FOR PRESERVING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE WITHOUT MAJOR CHANGES. HE’S FOR “TOUGH CUTS,” BUT HE’S AGAINST SAYING WHAT THEY ARE AND DEFENDING THEM. He pronounces ambitious goals without saying how they’d be reached. MAINLY, HE’S FOR SCORING POLITICAL POINTS AGAINST REPUBLICANS....
This is a column by Robert Samuelson, a liberal pundit. It’s actually quite good and demonstrates to me that people are realizing we have to do something about the budget. It’s a major problem for Obama and the Democrats and even his allies in the press are starting to call him on it.
They think you’re stupid
It is with great interest that I read this past week about the President's initial response to rising gas prices. What or who was to blame? ACCORDING TO THE PRESIDENT...SPECULATORS. NAMELESS, FACELESS SPECULATORS. THEY ARE TO BLAME FOR THE RISING PRICE OF CRUDE OIL UP AND THE ACCOMPANYING PRICE AT THE PUMP!
"The problem is...speculators and people make various bets, and they say, you know what, we think that maybe there's a 20 percent chance that something might happen in the Middle East that might disrupt oil supply, so we're going to bet that oil is going to go up real high. And that spikes up prices significantly…."
….No, the main culprit here isn't the nameless, faceless "speculators" that are now the object of the President's scorn, BUT GOVERNMENT POLICY ITSELF, BOTH WITH THE FEDERAL RESERVE (MONETARY) AND THE BUDGET DEFICITS ACCRUED IN RECENT YEARS (FISCAL). What is going on is that THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO DEFLECT BLAME to these nameless, faceless speculators for their own disastrous fiscal and monetary policies.
IN OTHER WORDS, THEY THINK YOU ARE STUPID.
Actually the title may be a bit harsh. They HOPE your are stupid.
‘I will get into trouble’
It seems Tom Friedman’s awesome China is still practicing too much central planning, and appears headed for a hard fall. See this terrific broadcast report from Australian television about China’s ghost towns, which follows on the heels of several good print-media reports about this phenomenon, such as this one from the Daily Mail and this one in Time magazine.http://www.sbs.com.au/dateline/story/watch/id/601007/n/China-s-Ghost-Cities
Most revealing is a comment at the 11:35 mark of the video by a Chinese worker in the property sector: “I can’t tell you my views. Because I work in the property sector, I know a lot about it, I will get into trouble.”
China has a lot going for it, but it also has a lot of problems. We shouldn’t overestimate what China will do in the future.
The sputtering end of the Obama administration’s plans to prosecute Khalid Sheik Mohammed in federal court came one day late last month in a conversation between the president and one of his top Cabinet members.
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC H. HOLDER JR. HAD CALLED PRESIDENT OBAMA TO INFORM HIM THAT HE WOULD BE RETURNING THE CASE TO THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT, A DECISION THAT WOULD MARK THE EFFECTIVE ABANDONMENT OF THE PRESIDENT’S PROMISE TO CLOSE THE MILITARY DETENTION CENTER AT GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA.
During the call, Obama did not press Holder to find a way to resurrect the federal prosecution of Mohammed and four co-defendants, according to senior administration officials familiar with the conversation. He DID NOT OBJECT. INSTEAD, HE CALLED IT A PRAGMATIC DECISION.
It was a fittingly quiet coda to the effort to close the military detention center. For more than two years, THE WHITE HOUSE’S PLANS HAD BEEN UNDERMINED BY POLITICAL MISCALCULATIONS, CONFUSION AND TIMIDITY IN THE FACE OF MOUNTING CONGRESSIONAL OPPOSITION, according to some inside the administration as well as on Capitol Hill. Indeed, the failed effort to close Guantanamo was reflective of the aspects of Obama’s leadership style that continue to distress his liberal base — a willingness to allow room for compromise and a passivity that at times permits opponents to set the agenda….
If you want to read what happened and confirm why Obama should not be re-elected, read this article.
Why Do So Many People Believe in Political Conspiracy Theories?
Belief in political conspiracy theories is widespread on both sides of the political spectrum. SOME 45% OF REPUBLICANS BELIEVE THAT OBAMA IS NOT A NATIVE-BORN CITIZEN and (presumably) that the Democrats have gotten away with covering up that fact. Similarly, 35% OF DEMOCRATS BELIEVE THAT GEORGE W. BUSH KNEW ABOUT THE 9/11 ATTACK IN ADVANCE, BUT LET IT HAPPEN ANYWAY. About a quarter of all Americans, including 32% OF DEMOCRATS AND 18% OF REPUBLICANS, BELIEVE THAT “THE JEWS” ARE TO BLAME FOR THE FINANCIAL CRISIS OF 2008.
Other widely-endorsed conspiracy theories include claims that THE GOVERNMENT IS COVERING UP EVIDENCE OF ALIEN LANDINGS ON EARTH, and that THE AIDS VIRUS WAS CREATED IN A GOVERNMENT LAB FOR THE PURPOSE OF INFECTING BLACKS. In a recent interview with CNN, Professor Robert Blaskiewicz of the Georgia Institute of Technology tried to explain the prevalence of such beliefs:
People are extremely social critters, and part of what makes that possible is the ability to perceive others as deliberately acting in the world, in other words to detect agency.
It’s extremely useful in building respectful communities. Sometimes that faculty doesn’t turn off when it should, and you associate “agency” with events and ideas that are unrelated.
WHEN A RESPONSIBLE AGENT IS NOT EASILY DISCERNIBLE, THAT SENSE THAT SOMETHING IS STILL DELIBERATE ENDURES, AND YOU ARE LEFT WONDERING, “WELL, WHO CAUSED IT, THEN?” You fill in the blanks…
The nuts come in all sizes, all colors and all political beliefs.
Higher education at the lowest possible level
If you are wondering why some folks are starting to question whether a college education is worth the cost, the video below goes a long way towards explaining it. Recently, the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) sponsored two college courses: INTRODUCTION TO LABOR STUDIES AND LABOR POLITICS AND SOCIETY, TO BE TAUGHT SIMULTANEOUSLY THROUGH A VIDEO CONFERENCE BETWEEN TO TWO CAMPUSES.
The Professors are Judy Ancel, Director of Labor Studies at UMKC and Don Giljum, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers at Ameren UE in St. Louis. (Bonus: he is a member of the Communist Party.)
In the class, THE PROFESSORS NOT ONLY ADVOCATE THE OCCASIONAL NEED FOR VIOLENCE AND INDUSTRIAL SABOTAGE, THEY OUTLINE SPECIFIC TACTICS THAT CAN BE USED. As one of our colleagues pointed out, it’s the matter-of-factness of it all that is so disturbing.
About 45 seconds into this video they start talking about violence and say it is sometimes necessary as is industrial sabotage. And wonder why we call them Union thugs?
Brit Hume: If the election were today
“I think it’s upside down,” Hume said. “IF THE ELECTION WERE HELD TODAY, IN MY VIEW, BARACK OBAMA WOULD LOSE. HE MIGHT LOSE BIG. Obviously, he’s got some time. Events change. HE WOULD LOSE TO ANY REASONABLE NOMINEE FROM THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. The Republican Party might be able to lose the election if they nominate some extremely colorful freakish candidate, but my view of this is this election, Juan [Williams] – as you may have heard me say before, IS UNLIKELY TO BE ABOUT THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE. IT WILL BE ABOUT PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HIS RECORD and if the public decides it wants to make a change, and it would do that if the election were held today, they will elect a Republican.”
Left begins to realize their welfare state is unsustainable
Today’s WASHINGTON POST CLAIMS THAT MANY EUROPEANS ARE BEGINNING TO QUESTION THEIR WELL ESTABLISHED SYSTEM OF “REDISTRIBUTING WEALTH through taxes and welfare programs.” Specifically, the Post reports:
Manuel Valls, a presidential hopeful in France’s Socialist Party, challenged party doctrine recently by DECLARING THAT IT SHOULD NOT MAKE AN ISSUE OF PRESERVING THE 35-HOUR WORKWEEK if French factories have to compete with Chinese factories where the workweek starts at 60 hours and goes up from there. In Denmark, Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen rattled many in that icon of Scandinavian cradle-to-grave welfare by SUGGESTING DANES SHOULD WORK LONGER BEFORE RETIRING, TO PEEL BACK THE DEFICIT BY $2.8 BILLION.
Europeans are not the only ones that are beginning to notice that liberal social welfare states are unsustainable. The citizens of the bluest state in the union, California, are also beginning to question the size and scope of their government. The Los Angeles Times released a poll today showing 70% OF CALIFORNIANS SAID THEY SUPPORTED A CAP ON PENSIONS FOR FUTURE GOVERNMENT WORKERS, 68% APPROVED INCREASING GOVERNMENT WORKER CONTRIBUTIONS TO THEIR PENSIONS, AND 52% SUPPORT RAISING THE RETIREMENT AGE FOR GOVERNMENT WORKERS.
I believe that when Obama expanded the spending he was counting on the Bush tax cuts to end and a tax on carbon to greatly increase revenues. When neither happened, his prolific spending instead led to a crisis in leadership and a revival of the Republican Party. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.
Most Ridiculous Lawsuit of the Month – The ‘Deep Pockets’ Edition
....In 2008, a teenager grabbed a tip jar from the counter of a Starbucks and took off running. One of the customers, Roger Kreutz, chased the kid out into the parking lot and caught up to him as he was getting into a car. The two scuffled a bit until the teen was able to get into his car drive off, but as he did so his car knocked Kreutz over, who hit his head on the pavement and died two days later. The thief pled guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to a year in jail.http://www.instituteforlegalreform.com/today-in-legal-reform/37-ilr-spotlight/275-most-ridiculous-lawsuit-of-the-month--the-deep-pockets-edition.html
One life lost, another ruined over a tip jar containing less than $5. But out of this tragic story comes a redeeming twist. Kreutz’s family has forgiven the teen, and even invited him to participate in a memorial service where they all planted a tree in Kreutz’s honor. The family members say they knew the teen meant no harm.
HOWEVER, THE FAMILY’S COMPASSION DOESN’T EXTEND FURTHER TO THE STORE THE TEEN WAS ROBBING – THEY ARE TAKING STARBUCKS TO COURT ON THE GROUNDS THAT THE TIP JAR “INVITED THE ACT” OF THE CRIME, and that Starbucks was negligent in not employing a security guard. The teen was not named in the suit....
This is a tragedy, but Starbuck was not to blame.